1. How did you get your band name? I was doing a college radio show in Manchester with Ryan (drummer) and wanted to sneakily play the band I was in at the time, on-air. That band was called "Handsome Panda" - so I took the HP initials and used the first thing that came into my head, which was "Holy Pinto." I had read an article the day before on how healthy Pinto beans are and how we should all eat them. Personally I found it unconvincing due to the effort involved - having to soak them in water before cooking. Anyway, while on-air Ryan figured out my ruse straight away. Somehow the band name stayed in my head for years as a stupid imaginary band.
2. How did this band get started? Final year of college and frustrated with life and how we weren't doing music at the time. I spent about two years trying to convince Ryan to start a band with me. I don't think I ever played him any songs or anything I had written though, so it was a very counterproductive persuasion. Eventually happened, I guess!
3. What bands are you influenced by? Weakerthans, Gaslight Anthem, Elliott Smith, Front Bottoms, Spook Houses, The Smiths.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? Steely Dan. My "wildcard" favourite band. I bet those guys have a really dry sense of humour and Donald Fagen is one of my favourite songwriters.
5. Best food to eat on tour? We always go to Subway for a cheeky sandwich before, during, or after rehearsal without fail.
6. Why should people listen to your band? We try really, really hard to not be crummy.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? Jean Beausejour. Chile's finest winger/fullback.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? Absolutely anyone who has ever given us and our music time of day. When even one person tweets about us, it's like, I'm straight on my phone to Ryan.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? Huuuge question! Would love to answer but I really don't feel I know enough to have an opinion just yet! Most bands hate to have been bitten up the arse by the music industry... We'd kill for the opportunity just to be screwed over by someone important! Haha.
10. Memorable tour experience? We've been so lucky to have played with some awesome bands/people in the last few months. Nathan Detroit/Alaska Alaska been unbelievably great to us, inviting us to come play with them in south-west! Also the Kent house-show we played with Better Weather/College was really special. In terms of on-the-road "banter" - feeding Elliot from Nathan Detroit three shots in a row while on stage at his birthday show in Bristol, resulting in him very publicly passing out on the sofa in the corner of the venue as soon as he got off stage.. Was unbelievably funny. Honorable mention to Ryan musing about how dinosaurs once walked the same earth as us and getting very confused and mind-blown, staring out of the passenger window for 15 minutes straight. I can't explain why this was so funny to me, but it's memorable enough to bring up every other day.
11. What does AP.net mean to you? Only music website I check every day. Every now and then introduces me to a life-changingly good band. For example when you guys pushed The 59 Sound.
12. What is your favorite song to play? "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? Ancoats, Manchester.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis. I still maintain that was the first song I ever loved.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? To be good at football (soccer)!
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? Ryan does 3 x 10 bicep curls with his snare drum.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? We spend countless hours after rehearsal in a local bowling alley. But we still aren't any good.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? It seems to be quite trendy these days. I'm not sure we fit in or are accessible enough. We'd love to though.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time? Non-musical... I watch a lot of soccer and contrary to popular belief, Ryan is a huge rugby and general sports fan.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? So far I've spent 10 minutes staring at this question... Wow. I must be pretty talentless. Sad face.